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Best Ways To Reduce Lockdown Stresses


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For me, a good light-hearted book and some soft music is top of the tree. Not something that thrills, rather something that soothes. 

Watching a film, or playing a family board game, will help folks to help each other. 

I am a great advocate of meditation. This is something I especially like to do in the evening and I have some special music on CD for this. Or I play a guided meditation and focus within. 

Alcohol, smoking, gambling all heighten arousal so won't help stress. Anything addictive won't. Love, kindness, care and helping each other will. 

 

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A walk is good. Keeping local for this is boring but necessary. 

Our conscience is clear on doing everything necessary to safeguard ourselves and others. And I think that helps with stress. 

We both like puzzles. They anchor nicely into the here and now, and are fulfilling. At my mother-in-law's retirement flats there was also a major jigsaw puzzle in work in the lounge, and everyone could have a go anytime. 

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When I am feeling stressed, my muscles tense as fight or flight kicks in. 

It's not something that especially bugged me when I was working, of which I am quite proud. 

But it has been an issue in the lockdown. 

What helps is looking to elicit what Herbert Benson called the "relaxation response". 

In his clinic in America he would utilise various relaxation techniques to bring this on. 

We can all find what suits us to elicit this response. We might need to come to terms with reality first off, because otherwise that which is causing the stress is not being addressed. 

But after that, we might find a quiet place periodically and focus within. It only needs a few minutes. In its simplest form, we just slow down our breathing, noting how our breath enters the body then travels down into our lungs. 

As we deepen, and slow, our breathing - just observing and focusing on it - we will start to relax and our muscles will gradually ease down as our internal "sentry" stands down the alert. 

We can take the exercise further by working around our body, clenching and releasing muscles as we go. 

And another beneficial development is, whilst in the meditation, believe that as you inhale a healing white light enters your body with the breath. 

And as you exhale, out with the breath you breath your stressors, in the form of a dark cloud. 

This kind of soothing imagery is a great part of the relaxation process. 

When practising relaxation and meditation do make sure you do it only when in a very safe place, not driving using machinery or with any other safety or care responsibilities to you or others. 

It's best sitting or lying down, and closing the eyes really helps bring visualisation within. 

There are various types of creative visualisation guided meditations available to download. Here, with the background of gentle music, a guide speaks you through a wonderful visual calming journey. 

 

Edited by taurean
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